Monthly Archives: October 2010

North Island Kaka

The kДЃkДЃ (Nestor meridionalis) is a noisy and sociable bird of the forest. It is related to the alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). In 1877 ornithologist Walter Buller wrote of MДЃori catching 300 kДЃkДЃ a day in the Urewera forest, during the rДЃtДЃ blooming season. Today it is estimated that there are fewer than […]


The New Zealand kingfisher (Halcyon sancta) usually lives in a nest hole in a clay bank. This is the only native kingfisher species found in New Zealand. Another kingfisher, the Australian kookaburra, was introduced and lives around Auckland. Known to Māori as kōtare, the New Zealand kingfisher is often seen in coastal areas perched on […]

Grey Warbler

The native grey warbler or riroriro (Gerygone igata) and the endemic Chatham Island warbler (Gerygone albofrontata) are New Zealand’s only members of the Australasian family Pardalotidae. They sing a delicate and complex trill, which Māori took as a seasonal reminder to plant their crops. The grey warbler weighs 6.5 grams; the Chatham Island species weighs […]


The fantail or pīwakawaka (Rhipidura fuliginosa) is 16 centimetres long, including its 8-centimetre tail. It weighs 8 grams. Most fantails are brown above and pale underneath. Their fan-like tail, usually held high above the body, is made up of long dark central feathers flanked by white feathers. About 20% of South Island fantails are completely […]


What is in a name? The bellbird is known as the korimako (which is the same name as the hebe), makomako (mako is also the Maori name for shark), or rearea (but this is not very common). What do they look like? • Bellbirds are slightly smaller than blackbirds at 20cm long. • The male […]

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